Florida Marlins (28-30) at Philadelphia Phillies (30-26)
Chris Volstad (3-6, 4.08 ERA) vs. Kyle Kendrick (3-2, 4.26 ERA)
Time: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 75
TV: Comcast SportsNet
A smattering of desperation appears to have infiltrated the thinking of the Phillies coaching staff this evening. Star right fielder Jayson Werth, in the process of collecting only three hits in his past 10 games (along with only one run scored, no stolen bases, and a golden sombrero along the way) is, to borrow a term from ice hockey, a health scratch. Ben Francisco, himself only hitting .233 and slugging only .302 this year, will take his place.
It’s not just Werth that isn’t hitting (Chase Utley’s batting average has dropped almost 50 points during this slide, for instance), but giving Werth a day off against a righty in the middle of a slump can’t hurt. Tonight’s Marlins starter is Chris Volstad, who, despite being a reasonably competent major league pitcher, has very few distinguishing qualities apart from his height (he’s 6-foot-8). Volstad works off a mediocre fastball to a mediocre slider, a decent curve, and a decent change.
The big news, apart from Werth being held out, is the debut of Mike Stanton, who will play right and bat seven for Florida. Stanton, if not for Jason Heyward and Stephen Strasburg coming up this year in the same division, would be getting a lot more press. Stanton has the bad luck of being the second-best 20-year-old right fielder in the division right now, but what a right fielder he is. At 6-foot-5, 205 pounds, Stanton is a real masher. At age 18, he hit 39 home runs in only 125 games in A-ball. This year, in only 238 plate appearances, Stanton hit 21 home runs in AA, to go with a .441 on-base percentage and 44 walks against 53 strikeouts. As a fan of the game of baseball, I’ve been looking forward to seeing Stanton’s debut all season. As a Phillies fan, I wish the Marlins had waited a few days so he wouldn’t have to play against the Phillies.
Tonight’s Lineup: Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Francisco RF, Ibanez LF, Valdez SS, Ruiz C, Halladay P
Your Gameday Beer – Melanie Brewing Company Beer 30 Light
My roommate got this once in college. The name stuck out, as did the fact that you could get a 30-pack for the same price as a case of Natty Light. That’s right. This beer is cheaper than Natty Light. I was too scared to try any, but according to my roommate, it’s the pisswater to end all pisswater. And this is coming from the guy who drank heavy Busch for 4 years. Enjoy.– By Michael